Mistress of Disguise

Because modern clothes are stupid

HJ
m_of_disguise
3.16.17 - Went out with my coworkers after the museum closed and ate some sushi at Blue Sushi's happy hour. I really like my current coworkers (most of them, anyway), and I feel like my relationships with some of them could develop into real friendships. It felt so great to go out and do something non-family related and to just hang out with people. So fun!

3.17.17 - M officially agreed to the Paris trip! Now we just need to set a budget and save up for it. :D

Sooo...Paris?
m_of_disguise
I'm getting a little excited about next year's 18thC costume events, guys. It sounds like the Francaise Dinner coordinators are trying to have their event in Williamsburg next year! It would be so amazing to make an entire weekend in Williamsburg out of it, and I've already been going through the Stash fabrics mentally, figuring out what to make for me and M. That's still a bit question mark, though, as nothing seems to have been decided yet, but if they do end up moving it there next year, we are SO THERE.

And, it's a little crazy, but I'm going to try and make it to Fêtes Galantes Versailles next year. This year is definitely NOT doable, but with over a year to save, plan, and sew, I think we can make it happen. I've been looking at AirBnB at places in Paris, and there are some places in the center of the city that look amazing, are close to everything, and are under $100, which is way better than I expected. That means we can probably splurge on the big shiny tickets that include tours of all the private royal rooms and the concert in the chapel and all that. I'm also thinking we might take a week in Paris, and then hop a train to Germany so we can spend some time with my family there. Some of them will be here for my sister's wedding in October, but my grandmother and my uncle can't fly, so M won't get to meet everyone. My grandmother is also in her 90s, so I really want to take advantage of any chance that I have to see her.

Anyway, this is all in the planning stages, but I am SO EXCITED for next year! This new job opportunity is finally going to give me the chance to do the things I've always dreamed of. Captain Ekhart called this morning just to catch up and see how the process was going. He's really eager for me to start, and so am I. I'm just waiting for one of my references to return the email to the investigator, and then we can move forward! :D
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Blue Chintz Gown
m_of_disguise
I threw together a new 18thC gown recently to give a dress talk at a local library about Rococo fashion. It was a totally last minute gown that I had to put together in about a week and a half after my original plan, a new caraco out of Stash fabric, didn't work out at all. I did manage to find a suitable chintz at Walmart, of all places, and since I already had a bodice pattern drafted out that fit really well, it was just a matter of cutting it out and putting it all together. I also picked up some mustard colored cotton for a petticoat and some really delicious embroidered net lace for some new engageantes. I also made new paniers, under-petticoats, and a new shift for the presentation, but I did those in the month leading up to the talk, so they were already done when I started the gown (thank goodness).  I didn't manage to finish the new stays that I started, which I really need to do because my current stays are way too short waisted and all my gowns end up sitting too high on my torso. I should be able to finish them in time for the next 18thC event in September, though.



The talk went really well, too. I absolutely hate public speaking, but I'm pretty comfortable talking about 18thC clothing, especially when it's just a general overview of the layers and the fashions of the period and nothing that in-depth. The audience was really great, too. They had a lot of questions and were really engaged, so that made things a lot easier since I could stop and answer their questions and let that sort of determine the path of the conversation rather than having to stick to the script I'd come up with. I'm not totally over my fear of public speaking, but this definitely made me feel better about any future lectures.




I actually managed to do quite a bit of hand-sewing on this dress, too, despite the time crunch. The pleats on the back, the lining, and the trim are all stitched by hand. Only the long seams, and the hidden seams on the inside of the bodice are done on machine. :D

Rut
m_of_disguise
I've been sitting around my house, doing a whole lot of nothing. It's as boring as it sounds. It's not that I don't want to sew anything, it's that I've had no idea whether or no I'd be able to attend any events in the future, so I just have been sitting on my hands while I wait for news.

Well, the news has finally come! I interviewed for a position at the Sheriff's office about a month ago, and have been going through the long and exhausting interview process ever since (polygraphs, fingerprinting, background investigation, etc). And then yesterday, unexpectedly, I get a call from one of the Captains who originally interviewed me (there were three of them at the initial interview) and he offered me a position as his personal secretary! I may have danced wildly across the house. It's a Monday-Friday, 8-5 position, so I'd have my weekends free to costume it up.  I'm so excited that everything ended up falling into place! I'm just waiting now for my references to check out and for them the schedule the drug screening and physical, and then I can start!

This means I need to catch up on some of my projects. The Jazz Age Sunday Social is at the end of the month, and a friend of mine gave me this really beautiful light colored herringbone wool/linen stuff that would make a great 1920s or Teens suit for M, so I need to get on that. I also need a new Teens or 20s day dress, so I need to whip something together for myself, but I really want to focus on making something for him since I always run out of time before events to get his stuff finished.

I'm probably going to miss the opening of Scarborough Faire this year, so the Renaissance stuff I had planned on is no longer a thing. I'm staying on at the museum for one day each weekend, and they happened to schedule me for that day, so I'm not going to make that event.

I am going to make the Victorian event the next weekend, though, so there's a new springy bustle dress on the roster, as well as a lighter Victorian suit for M, since his only one is a heavy winter wool.

Then I need to get on to making the 1905 stuff for our Edwardian Day Out in May. I still don't quite know what I'm going to do for that one, but at least I can get started on something smart for M, since he'll need something to wear at dinner.

It's a good thing I have the entire week after spring break free (I took hours from everyone that wanted to travel, so I work every day next week), so maybe I can bust out a couple of pieces during that time. I can at least get a couple of waistcoats and some skirts done!
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HJ
m_of_disguise
1.31.17 - I made brown sugar glazed pork chops tonight, and they were amazing. Like, seriously amazing. M was talking to his pork chops the entire meal about how great they are. lol I'm really starting to find my cooking groove, and it's been enjoyable to try new things in the kitchen. I'm going to try some blackberry sage pork chops next, since we still have a ton of pork, and I have a mushroom-parmesan orzo recipe that I want to make as the side.

2.1.17 - Found out that my application to work as a clerk in the sherriff's office has been forwarded to the hiring department! I'm hoping that my little associates degree in forensics will make my a nice, shiny candidate, even if it is just a secretarial position and not an investigator or anything like that. The pay bump sure would be nice, since M and I are saving for a house and have our eye on one out in the country that is perfect. It's just enough acreage to have a home-sustaining farm, it has a house and barn on it, and a workshop where he could work on his cars. Hopefully no one snatches it up before we have our down payment saved!
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HJ
m_of_disguise
It's been a while since I posted in my happiness jar, I just haven't really kept it in mind. XP I'll try to be a bit better at it in the future, it was nice looking back at the tag to see where I left off and seeing those little happy moments.

1.21.16 - Went home sick from work, but instead of laying in bed and wallowing, I decided to lay in bed and be productive, so I polished all my silver. I bought a bunch of silver pieces online that were tarnished completely black, so I spent the day pampering them with silver creme and soft cloths, and now they look absolutely amazing and brand new. It was an easy, mindless task that I could work on without thinking about it too much, because the brain power to do much more just wasn't there. I do want to complete my set with the matching teapot, and there's one on ebay right now that I'm stalking, so hopefully I'll have a complete service here pretty soon.

1.22.16 - It's the last day of this stupid show! No more explaining our stupid raffle 1,000x a day, no more dealing with non-functional stoners, no more! It's finished, overwith, finito, DONE. I am so glad, and I hope we never have a show this insane again.
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Monet at the Kimbell
m_of_disguise

Our first event of the year! The Kimbell Museum in Fort Worth almost always has an impressionist exhibit at this time of year, and it's become somewhat of a regular event for the Costumer's Guild. I actually managed to finish the tan and brown dress in time, which was a tiny miracle! I was still up until 4:30 doing last minute finishing, like sleeves, colllars, and buttons (the bloddy buttons and buttonholes themselves too two hours to put on!), but before the event I just had to get up, do my hair, and get dressed, and not have to worry about how I was going to close a half-finished thing and not bust out of it during the event. I didn't have to worry about pins coming undone or stitching showing. It was great. And now I have something bustle era that fits again! :D

I ended up using Burda 7880 for the bodice. It made up really well, but the instructions were extremely minimal, like "sew A to B. Attach cuff." There was absolutely no mention of cutting out a lining anywhere in the pattern, but this weird step of "sewing inside jacket same as outside jacket". That was literally the instruction. Later there was "double the jacket". What? It never said to cut out a lining, the little cutting layout only said "cut one" or "cut two", it never said "of fabric" or "of lining", and there were other little quirks, like it showing that you need 24 buttons, but not saying what size of button. Definitely not for beginners. But, the end result is beautiful! I especially love the little box pleated peplum in the back.



Anyway, we met up at 10, when the museum actually opens, and it was already filling up. The exibit galleries were crowded and hard to move around in, and there were some paintings we couldn't even get close to because people with the audio tour thingies were standing around in packs and forming human walls around them. By the time we left the museum, the line for the exhibit had grown to enormous lengths, and there was a sign saying they were only letting in a certain amount of people at a time because of the size of the space.

The exibit itself was excellent, though, and we had a great turnout for our group. Everyone looked totally amazing, too! I'm sort of obsessed with Eryn's white dress and red dolman. I didn't get any photos of the bodice she wore under the dolman, but it was gorgeous, with these tiny little embossed brass buttons. It was stunning. Everyone looked stunning.







Afterward, we went to La Madeleine for a bit of lunch. We ended up staying for quite a while and chatting, which was so enjoyable. I had missed seeing everyone, and it was a lot of fun to catch up. We had to sort of finagle the dining room to make room for all of us because these two dudes were hogging the one long table all to themselves, so we just stole a bunch of tables and pushed them together, making this crazy L shaped table fort.




I had such a great time today, and I'm really looking forward to the next event. I had some plans to make a copy of the gold deck dress from Titanic, but the fabric won't arrive in time for me to make it, so I'm heading to the warehouses on Monday to see if inspiration strikes. I only have one Teens dress, despite how much I love the era, so I need to expand the wardrobe, anyway.

Ancestry!
m_of_disguise
I decided to give myself a belated Christmas present, and bought myself a subscription to Ancestry.com! I'm so excited. I've been trying to find somewhere to channel all of my research mojo since I finished school, and this is the perfect outlet. I get to sift through records, track down relatives, all that fun stuff.

I've already found some pretty cool things, too. I managed to find a copy of my great-grandfather's WWI draft card, and on my paternal grandmother's line, I've been able to track things back to London in the 1510s! I discovered a whole branch of the family (Holmes, like Sherlock!) that lived in London and Massachusetts, and their ancestors actually lived in Plymouth Colony and came over on the Mayflower! I was so excited to find that. I've always wanted to have some ancestral link to some bit of American heritage, and there it was! I actually discovered that my family is connected  to two of the Mayflower passengers - Henry Samson, and Isaac Mary Allerton. I also have an ancestor that come over a year later on the Fortune. It's been so fun to see how different branches of the family diverged and wove together to get to where we are now. I've found ancestors in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Holland, so far.

I've also found some of the greatest names ever, like the sisters Thankful Pond, Obedience Pond, Mindwell Pond, and Experience Pond. There's also Barnabas Holmes, but the Holmes line really needs to get it together, because I ran into a circle where everyone kept naming their sons Ebenezer or Nathaniel, and it just kept going. There are so many Nathaniels and Ebenezers in the Holmes family, I almost lost my mind trying to keep track of all of them. I kept thinking I was finding duplicates.

Unfortunately, I've hit a bit of a roadblock going any further back, because Ancestry requires another subscription to look at international records, which is a bit of a bummer. I'm contemplating a one-time month-long subscription to see if I can go any further back on that line, because it looks like there are a good amount of records for that branch of the family. It would also allow me to work on my Mom's side of the family, since she's the first person that actually has moved to the US, so all of those records are in Germany and I can't get at them.

I'm going to finish working on the US side of the family, though, since there's still a ton of stuff to dig through and a bunch of family lines to flesh out, so that will be fun. My favorite part is finding other trees that have old pictures attached. I found one of a Sion Holley from around 1900, and I'm pretty sure the other people in the photo are all his brothers and sisters, and someone had a portrait of one of the family from the 1600s that they're keeping private, and I want to contact them so I can see it. I love seeing the real faces behind all these names that I'm looking at.

Oh, and George Bush is my cousin, through the Mayflower line. Go figure. XP
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HJ
m_of_disguise
1.6.17 - Snow! Just a little bit, but we had about an inch on the ground by the end of the day. And, since I had the day off, I just spent it hanging out with my sister and watching Westworld.

1.7.17 - The underskirt ruffles are finished! I can wrap up the rest of the skirt tomorrow, and if I really work at it, have the rest of the dress finished in a few days. That would give me enough time to make new stuff for M! :D
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HJ
m_of_disguise
1.5.17 - Found out we're supposed to have fantastic weather for the event I've been sewing like crazy for, which means I don't have to make the outerwear and cold weather accessories I had planned on. This definitely takes a load off of my plate, and now I might be able to finish M's waistcoat, after all!
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